Editorials on Len Brown

NZ Herald editorial:

Those hoping for public accountability over Mr Brown’s repayment should not hold their breaths. Afterwards, talking to reporters, he revealed that this part of the censure would remain confidential. The commitment to accountability will go only so far.

Still being sneaky and furtive. They can’t have confidentiality anyway…ever heard of the LGOIMA?

The Royal Commission on Auckland Governance emphasised the need for a strong and independent mayor. It said: “Auckland needs an inspirational leader, inclusive in approach and decisive in action. Auckland needs a person who is able to articulate and deliver on a shared vision, and who can speak for the region, and deliver regional priorities decisively.”

Yesterday’s peculiar accord makes that ever less likely. Auckland has a mayor who is politically reined in, reputationally damaged and personally unlikely to regain residents’ respect. It also has a mayor who must, one day soon, realise his diminished mana cannot allow him to speak for all in the region. At one level, a right-wing councillor, Sharon Stewart, reveals Mr Brown’s reputation so troubled schools and churches in her community they found it hard to have him present awards. At another, left-wing commentator Chris Trotter doubts Mr Brown’s ability to be taken seriously in Wellington.

The mayor’s failure to acknowledge the reality of his position was starkly apparent when, offered a “right of reply” to the councillors’ decisions yesterday afternoon, he offered a few perfunctory thoughts that came across as insufficient and offhand. The contrition that even his council supporters desired remained out of reach.

The manner in which Mr Brown has brazened it out with the council and the people this week shows he doesn’t, really, get that his tide has gone out. The city needs a new leader. 

Len Brown has no shame.

Marlborough Express editorial:

A wise school master regularly gave his students advice they would remember for many years: It’s too late to be sorry.

Cheating in exams. Disrupting other students while they were sitting exams. Bullying. Destroying school property. They were all things that could affect the lives of other people. Things that could not be fixed with even the most sincere apology.

Len Brown, the mayor of Auckland, was clearly not one of his students.

Mr Brown needs to understand there is little point apologising for his behaviour during the past couple of year.

Where was his concern during the two-year extra-marital affair with a junior staff member? He has said sorry only after being found out. He is concerned about his family, probably for selfish reasons, and seems unconcerned about the city.

The only way to show true contrition is to quit. The sooner he does that, the sooner the city can get on with its business.

Mr Brown’s crime is not his affair. It is the way he has dealt with the affair becoming public and what has been revealed by the investigation into his conduct.

His attempts to paint himself as a victim and to duck responsibility have damaged his credibility. His breaking of Auckland Council rules has damaged the reputation of the council. Pleading ignorance of the rules or that he was distracted by other matters is not an excuse. …

He, and his remaining supporters on the council, need to realise that Auckland is bigger than him. His continuing presence is an embarrassment and a distraction to the city he claims to love.

He cannot give leadership while he is ducking the public and avoiding the media. He cannot uphold standards for councillors when he has lowered them himself. And while questions persist about his conduct, the council cannot turn its attention to matters that actually concern Aucklanders.

Time for Brown to go.

The Dominon Post editorial:

Len Brown is done. The sooner he and the councillors who slapped him over the wrist with a wet bus ticket yesterday realise it, the sooner Auckland can get on with its business.

Mr Brown’s crime is not his extra-marital affair with a woman 25 years his junior. It is the way he has dealt with the affair becoming public and what has been revealed by the investigation into his conduct.

His attempts to paint himself as a victim and to duck responsibility for his actions have damaged his credibility. His breaking of Auckland City Council rules has damaged the reputation of the council. Pleading ignorance of the rules or that he was distracted by other matters is not an excuse. As mayor Mr Brown had a responsibility to acquaint himself with the rules and to abide by them.

Looks like a little bit of cut/paste there inside Fairfax…actually a lot…but the sentiment remains.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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